Hiking Club Trail #14
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Mankato, MN
Length: 2.7 Miles
Difficulty: Easy: Well packed snow, mostly flat, what hills there were had ice
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: 39.9 of 197
Winter hike #2 in the books - I really enjoy the fact that there are no people on the trails in the winter but until I buy some YakTraks I will be sticking to the flat trails in the winter!
On this trip I finally convinced my Mom to join the hiking club - WIN! She can do this - even if she needs a little help along the way! Also with her joining and me knowing I am going to have to back track and hike a few parks again, we both decided to join the Passport Club as well (not sure why I didn't join this before - better now than never I guess) $14.95 gets you a Passport book and Trail Log book for you to write about all of your adventures. Every state park has a stamp and you get pins and free nights of camping as you fill your book.
This Park is weird - it is split in 2 - the ranger station and waterfall (and very few hiking trails) then a short drive away you find the buffalo enclosure, windmill and Hiking Club Trail. I don't like the set-up but I'll get over it!
My SUV is in the shop so of course I enter the Park with the muddiest roads and parking lots that I have ever seen with a Chevy Malibu. I honestly thought it was going to be stuck in the parking lot when I came back from my hike, but I got it out of there but in desperate need of a car wash.
Stopped at the first section of the Park to see the waterfall... Minnehaha is cooler in the winter in my opinion - I will have to come back and see it in the summer.
Then we headed over to see if we could catch a glimpse of the buffalo as the road through the enclosure is closed for the winter. The heard was hanging out right by the entrance - probably waiting for food.
If we wouldn't have seen the buffalo there we would have had plenty of chances along the hike - the hiking club trail runs along the full length of one side of the Buffalo enclosure. The trail basically runs along the bluffs of the Minnesota river to the right and the buffalo enclosure to the left. This hike was nothing special (at least not in the winter) - you do have a good view of the river in a few spots. For me this park was more about the buffalo and that was for sure the highlight.
Winter has been long - it was nice to be outside!
My Mom also had her first bout of snow blindness - with her vision there is always something new. About 2 miles in she tells me everything she is seeing is purple - that can't be good... thank goodness the path is flat and has very little obstacles. Note: We need to look into better sunglasses for her.